A Chris Pratt redemption
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
There are Marvel-related spoilers in here—so if you haven’t watched Endgame but are planning to, go do that first and I’ll meet you back here in three hours!
Chris Pratt is an icon. You can challenge me on this, but you will lose. In fact, this is exactly the headspace I was in when I realized I should write this article. Lately he’s been getting a lot of hate, and what’s the best way to fight hate? No, silly, not pitch forks (just yet)—the best way is love, obviously!
Infinity War spurred a lot of conversation, including the question: “Who is to blame for all of this?” Agonizingly, my friends would target my boy Peter “Star-Lord” Quill for all the losses suffered after his emotionally driven outburst kept the good guys from capturing the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos’ grip. By now everyone and their mother has heard every possible argument as to why Star-Lord doesn’t (or does—whatever) deserve the ruthless hate, so I will not bother with my take. Instead of hammering you with more Marvel debate in this post-Avengers: Endgame world, here are some other cinematic works where Chris Pratt shines, or at the very least doesn’t make you want to snap him out of existence.
Parks and Recreation
In Parks and Rec, Pratt plays snuggly and lovable Andrew “Andy” Dwyer. He’s like an exuberant child, delighted at the simplest things. From being a couch potato deadbeat boyfriend, he goes through major developmental arcs that see him create a whole new life while staying true to his cheerful personality. Andy seems to be a foundation for many major characters Pratt would go on to play, tying most of them together with the Andy original quote: “I have no idea what I’m doing but I know I do it really, really well.” Whether he be a hallway shoe-shiner, children’s performer Johnny Karate, FBI agent Burt Macklin, a rock star, camp leader Brother Nature, or just himself, he will steal your heart (and probably all nearby toys).
The show itself is a hilarious, fun-loving sitcom following a group of unlikely bureaucrats running the local government parks and recreation department of fictional city Pawnee, Indiana.
The Lego Movie
There’s not much to say here, since fun-loving Emmet is only voiced by Pratt, but I will say that the character fits the bill for Pratt’s personality as well. Super bubbly and almost obnoxiously giddy, The Lego Movie is like an infectious laugh, but two hours long. Love or hate the “Everything is Awesome” theme, the movie offers heartwarming messages of friendship and trying your best, which will never be outdated.
Guardians of the Galaxy
By now it is clear that Pratt tends to land major goofball roles. Peter Quill is absolutely no exception. He’s an idiot all right, but he’s an idiot with an unparalleled music taste in the MCU. I don’t see Captain America shaking his groove thing anywhere, thank you very much. Besides, having watched his mother die, watched his father-figure die in his arms, and killed his own biological father, the poor guy’s had a rough life (especially if you take into account the events of Infinity War and Endgame). For such a mercilessly war-torn world, it is refreshing to have an average dopey “superhero” (lacking superpowers) with not much besides some dubious leadership skills and compassion helping him find his way.
I’ll admit, he isn’t as goofy here as the rest. Pratt plays Owen Grady, a US Navy veteran and ethologist in charge of researching and training four velociraptors. His wit, however, is greater than ever. Overall, he’s much more of a smooth-talking, tactful, and cunning protagonist. Perhaps those are some qualities that Peter Quill should be taking notes on.
I hope you’ve put your Infinity Gauntlet on your nightstand and switched it for a remote because I assure you that at least one of these will keep you from snapping.